Winter might have gripped the country, even the supposedly 'winterless north', but it doesn't mean there's not a lot going on in the regions. Regional support officer Kim Admore takes a look at what's happening at each club in the northern region from north to south.
Mangonui Cruising Club
The Mangonui Cruising Club are doing very well, with an increase in membership. This could be on the back of the club’s recent major rebuild and the population drift northwards and featured as the Club of the Month this time last year.
They serve wonderful meals if you are ever in the area on a Friday night but it pays to make make reservations with the club the day before. See here for more.
Taipa Sailing Club (Report from commodore Averil Hibbard)
"The Taipa Sailing Club have had a busy summer with full learn to sail programmes. Our level 2 numbers have been high this season, and we now have three 420s in the club which both adults and juniors are enjoying.
Coming up, we have the Taipa O'pen Bic Regatta (September 29-October 1), the Far North championships (October 27-28) and we are also gearing up to hold both the 2019 Starling North Island championships (January 18-20) and Starling national championships (April 14-17).
We are aiming to use the winter months to rally our volunteers, old and new, and to provide them training so they are comfortable to assist with our growing numbers and big events. We intend to continue our sailing over the winter, however, on a more informal basis with supervised sailing in the morning and fun club racing in the afternoon as the weather allows."
Averil and husband Andy are running O'pen Bic training sessions around the northern region to up-skill sailors keen to enter the O'pen Bic world championships at the Manly Sailing Club in January 2019.
Kerikeri Cruising Club
The Kerikeri Cruising Club are running full-on junior programmes at Lake Manowai and Doves Bay. They're also hosting the 2018 NZTSA open teams nationals over Queens Birthday weekend (June 2-4) at Doves Bay.
Bay of Islands Yacht Club
The club have been running a very successful sailing programme under the watchful eyes of Rob Hielkema. This was evidenced by 11 entries at the Starling nationals at Worser Bay in March and four in the top 12 represented an awesome achievement for a provincial club.
The club are also hosting the 29er national championships over Queens Birthday weekend (June 1-4).
Russell Boating Club
The club have had a good year financially, with good management of the bar and cratering. Their club’s big event of the year is the Tall Ships race, which is held on the first weekend of January to catch all the cruisers up in the Bay for summer. They are looking at ways to increase participation in this event - it's the one to put in your calendar if you are in the Bay area over summer.
The clubhouse needs to be re-piled so they are looking at options around redevelopment.
Opua Cruising Club (report from commodore Derek Edwards)
The summer/autumn months have provided a much-needed turnaround in patronage and participation from what we experienced last winter. What was particularly pleasing was the resurgence in race fleets which had also been disappointing earlier in the season.
Keelboat racing remains the main club activity with the A division attracting 4-6 entries for twilight racing and B division 10-12 entries. Our C division multi-hulls and sports boats became a casualty of the marina development which has restricted ramp access, rendering it unusable under certain wind and tide conditions. Our weekend races attract various levels of participation and this provides the club with opportunity to do more of 'the popular stuff'.
Interclub racing increased last season with the inaugural NYA keelboat regatta, and the reintroduction of the BOI Epiglass Cup, hosted by the Kerikeri Cruising Club, which was added to the F&P Trophy series between Opua CC and Russell BC that had been contested via a three-race programme for many years. The Bay of Island yacht clubs are currently working together to foster interclub events for the coming season.
This year Opua CC subsidised local schools to enable them to offer the Have A Go experience to potential new participants to their regular afterschool sailing programme, with a total of 40 entrants from participating schools. The marina development that affects other non-powered sailboats for the race fleets also affects our learn to sail programme by increasing demand on safety boats. Our vision is that once 'abinitio' training has been completed, students able to do so will go to the Bay of Islands Yacht Club for further development before returning to Opua CC for experience on the keelboat fleet. There is more work to achieve this.
Opua continue our bistro and bar hospitality offer seven days per week from December to April and Wednesday to Sunday through the off-season with a period of six-day trading through the shoulder periods. Maintaining these trading days, despite the losses incurred during winter, is ,in our opinion, vital to maintaining club viability.
Membership has remained relatively static, although with a small decline. It's noticeable that the mix of members is changing and that has an effect on membership revenue which, in turn, has required the club to adapt.
Tutukaka Coast Youth Sailing Club
This club have recently re-affiliated to Yachting New Zealand after about six years. They have a keen group of parents who want to see their kids sailing and one of the reasons they reaffiliated was to get access to Yachting New Zealand training programmes, coaching and race management. Hopefully we will see a group out of here travelling to events in the future.
They are running out of the marina at this stage, but have some lovely water to sail in outside the harbour entrance.
Whangarei Cruising Club
The club have been running a very successful women’s sailing series, regularly attracting 12 women on the water, and this group is keen to build the numbers. They are sailing out of Parua Bay in keelers and trailer sailers.
The club are looking at purchasing 10 O'pen Bics to help build youth sailing in the region.
Dargaville Yacht Club
The Dargaville Yacht Club have had a very quiet year and need some more new members to make it viable. the club are based at the Kai Iwi lakes, which is an amazing place to sail, but the 24km drive might put a few people off. They have very minimal facilities at the lake and were hoping to take over the water ski club when powerboats were banned from using the lake.
Sail Northland Charitable Trust (report from Alan Clarkson)
The trust have purchased an RS Quest for adult and high school coaching.
The junior learn to sail programme has one session to complete on Sunday and the adult learn to sail continues throughout the current school term on Tuesdays in trailer sailers.
Whangarei Boys High School and Whangarei Girls High School teams both competed in last month's secondary schools teams racing national championships at Algies Bay, with coaching funding from Sport Northland. We're hoping to open this up to other schools this summer.
We're also in the process of formulating a full learn to sail and Have a Go programme with the coaches for the coming summer.
Marsden Yacht & Boat Club Inc
The club ran a great coaching programme in April and had a healthy number of O'pen Bics for sailors to try out. It was great to see the improvement of the children after a week on the water.
Sandspit Yacht Club
The main club at Sandspit is looking magnificent after a revamp. With the marina now full and up and running, the whole footprint is very tidy and also attracting more members to make use of the facilities.
The dinghy division hosted the school’s teams racing - what a huge effort for all involved. See here for results.
The club now have a good fleet of O'pen Bics available for their advanced learn to sail programme.
Manly Sailing Club
Manly are trying to keep ahead of the game with the huge increase in membership through their O'pen Bic programme. The club have a big season coming up with the Manly Mid-Winter Cup Regatta (July 7-9), the O'pen Bic world championships at the end of the year (December 31-January 4) and Laser nationals in January (12-15).
The club are looking for volunteers who might be able to help at any of these events.
Gulf Harbour Yacht Club
The club are doing very well, attracting 29 boats for the second race of the winter series. For more, see here.
Weiti Boating Club
A gem of a club on the Weiti River, the Weiti Boating Club have good haulout facilities and clubrooms. They often combine their racing with the Gulf Harbour Yacht Club and have a good hard stand for trailer boats. Check out their website for more.
Torbay Sailing Club
The club have developed a strong Laser Radial fleet, which is allowing a group of youth sailors to work on improving their skills, and they also hosted the Jolly Boat national championships this year.
Torbay are working on their club committee boat, which has been out of action after the engine seized at the 2016 Aon Youth Sailing World Championships. Rather than replace the inboard diesel engine, they are fitting an outboard, and it will be good to see the mighty Lady Waiake back out on the water.
Murrays Bay Sailing Club
Murrays Bay Sailing Club had a big presence at the 2018 Optimist national championships in Picton with more than 20 sailors competing and they're well into the planning phase for next year's Opti nationals which are expected to attract strong numbers.
The club were very proud of the seven club members selected for the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team to compete at July's youth sailing world championships in Corpus Christi in the United States.
Pupuke Boating Club
The club run a fabulous winter racing programme on Sunday afternoons. They run short, quick races, the tide is always in, it's a great place to learn about wind shifts and you don’t have to wash your boat down afterwards. Opti kids benefit from doing a few races here over winter. See here for more.
Takapuna Boating Club
Takapuna are working on building a learn to sail fleet to raise the yachting focus of the club. They presently have a fleet of Far East 11s and Bic technos for those wanting to join a learn to sail programme.
Milford Cruising Club
Milford are about to start a refurbishment of the clubrooms, which will improve access and create larger deck areas and more storage for their popular learn to sail programme.
Wakatere Boating Club
Commodore Simon Probert reports that the club are bursting at the seams, with huge numbers of new members coming through the well-managed Waterwise programme run out of the club.
They have a big season ahead, hosting the OK Dinghy national championships and then the OK Dinghy worlds in February (9-15).
In the meantime, they have been putting their members and coaches through first aid courses sponsored by the Auckland Yacht & Boat Association and running club safety boat operator courses. This is to get members up to speed for next season but also to get themselves ready to apply for a MOSS exemption.
Devonport Cruising Club
The Devonport Cruising Club is probably the best club in Auckland to get a meal on a Friday night and to watch the boats go up and down the harbour.
The club runs a slipway at very reasonable rates and also have regular guest speakers. Like all keelboat clubs, they are looking for new members to keep the club viable into the future and it's worth checking out the club's website to see what they are up to.
RNZ Navy Sailing Club
The club are on the navy base and are involved with running their three Chico 40s.
Northcote Birkenhead Yacht Club
The club hosted their first big regatta after their major rebuild by hosting March's RS Feva national championships. It was great to see the team at the club pulling together to make this regatta a success and it should lift the club's profile and lead to more events there in the future.
Northcote Birkenhead are also this month's Club of the Month.
Taikata Sailing Club
If you have or want to sail a Frostbite sailing dinghy, this is the club to be at. They have a full sailing calendar that works around the tides and it's a great place to sail if you have only a few spare hours every second week.
French Bay Yacht Club
The club have recently extended their rigging deck to make the facilities more user friendly. They back on to the Manukau Harbour and is a good place to sail if you want to try sailing in different conditions - there is a lot of tide to contend with.
The club also offer learn to sail courses for all ages.